John 6:16-21: Meeting Jesus in the Boat

John 6:16-21

We ought to wait on Jesus – remain in sync with him – but sometimes we don’t. Maybe we do this because we are confused. He does something amazing and we read into it that he wants us to head off into some direction that he did not tell us to go. We get excited and forget to ask him and take the lead. We think that he is like another person and if we take off, he may follow our lead. But Jesus is always following the Father in submission so submission to him is what is always required of us.

We take off without him and find that the waters are rough. We use our strength instead of calling on him until we find ourselves in the middle somewhere in the dark, exhausted with storms raging. Fortunately for us, God’s mercy is always toward us and his glory is unshakable.

If Jesus was a mere man and we had left him behind and navigated half a journey, then realized our need, we would have no choice but to return to the beginning. The quickest way to get back on track if you’ve gone the wrong way is to turn around. But Jesus is not a mere man. He has authority over everything – even nature (including time and space) and death. He comes to us and meets us where we are. And his presence has an immediacy. By his authority, nature yields. Storms subside and we often find he immediately moves us to the place we need to be. But he does all this for his glory – which also happens to be for our best good. He alone knows our best good even if we forget this and take off without him.

We look at our good in very limited terms. We look at our most basic needs and mix this up with wants (lusts) and our glory (pride) and forget about life eternal and abundant. We are so consumed by our own limited point of view that we barely grasp just how much God wants for us and offers us, much less the endless magnificence of his glory. But Jesus is not a rabbits foot to provide us good luck, or a food stamp program to meet out basic needs or even a life coach or mentor to guide our success in the world. He is the bread of life and we must partake of that bread – the very word of the Father. It is hard for us to understand this or to take it. We want to be offended. Men don’t like grace because it highlights their unworthiness and their lack. Still, to whom shall we go? Jesus alone has the words of eternal life and Jesus alone can meet all our needs.

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